box or grill smokers

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by charles lavoie, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. Hi all, what are your thoughts on the better choice, for example Bradley / Masterbuilt etc.... Traeger or Char griller  also pellet or Bisquettes     I am looking for something fully automatic electric    
  2. Any smoker can be engineered to be low maintenance. The really efficient charcoal smokers (Kamado-style, Weber Smokey Mountain family, Mini-WSM, etc) can have a Stoker added to them to automatically adjust and maintain temperatures.  The electrics automatically maintain temp.  The pellet and biscuit smokers automatically maintain temperature.  Many of the high efficiency smokers have no need for a stoker, as they do an excellent job of keeping to a narrow temperature range once the vents are set.

    The next element is the actual smoke.  Wood or wood chunks need to be added to charcoal smokers to keep the smoke going on long smokes.  The electrics require a side-smoker attachments or pellet tubes/trays to keep smoking for long smokes without human intervention.  The pellet or biscuit smokers derive both heat and smoke by their fuel.

    Usually the side-burning offset smokers require the greatest amount of ongoing fire maintenance. 

    Each style of smoker has unique strengths.  Your style of cooking/smoking will influence which type is best for you.

    I have a Weber Smokey Mountain and a mini-WSM charcoal with a stoker.  I also have a Masterbuilt 40 with a pellet tube in the mailbox mod.  Both types require pellets/wood added every 2 to 5 hours, depending on what I am smoking. 
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  3. Thanks for the reply, maybe i was a little vague on the topic...... Bradley type smoker or a Char grill /  Traegers grills 
  4. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hello Charles.

    If I have this correct, you're trying to decide between an straight electric smoker (Bradley or Masterbuilt), or a pellet-fueled cooker (Traeger, Chargriller, etc.)?

    I've never owned or used a Bradley, so I can't help you there...but I used an MES for years and liked it a lot.  If you can buy a first generation model (there have been some problems with the 2nd gen models), they are good, affordable units that are very easy to use.  Pretty close to set it and forget it, especially with a smoke generating device added such as the AMNPS.

    My primary pit now is a pellet cooker (Rec Tec).  To me, its the best pit I've ever owned.  Very versatile...I can smoke at low temps or grill at high temps.  It has all the convenience of the set and forget electrics, plus I'm cooking on a wood-fired pit...everything comes off tasting great!

    It really depends on what you want and how much you can spend.  You can buy an MES or something similar for 2-3 hundred bucks, while most pellet grills are quite a bit more money.

    Don't know if I answered your question or not, but I hope that helps!

    Good Luck!

  5. Hi Seenred, thank you for the reply, because this is my first and looking for set it and forget it friend has a traeger and loves it, what would have more choices of wood pellets, i am looking to smoke brisket, ribs, wings, chops, pizza
  6. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sorry Charles...I'm not sure I understand what you're asking.  There are a variety of wood pellets available for cooking and smoking.  Any brand of pellet cooker will burn any cooking pellet flavor.  Traegers and Chargrillers are pretty good for entry level pellet smokers...say for less than $500.  These pits might not have the bells and whistles that more expensive rigs will have, but they'll still turn out great food.

  7. Hi, that's good to know about the pellets, yes it is going to be my first smoker but i dont want something to cheap yet i dont want to spend a small fortune on one either lol... 
  8. I love my Bradley just set it and forget it when I smoke pork butt i put in about 10:30 night before and go to bed :) had it about 3 yrs now
  9. Hi Charles, I'm a bit late but I have a Bradley original. Personally I don't like it. It's ok but cost of bisquests gets out of control I had a lot of temperature issues at the start and it is quite a flimsy unit. Ambient temperature really effects it. I'm now looking at a really good offset smoker or a yoder pellet smoker. So confused myself at which way to go but the Bradley..... I don't know doesn't do it for. Everyone's different as they all say though.

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